Friday, August 8, 2008

Olympics Opening Ceremony Brings People Back to the TV

A reported four-billion people were expected to tune into the three-hour opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics this morning. I managed to catch a bit of the event. It was a true, visual spectacle with thousands of participating dancers and performers outfitted in colourful, traditional garb, and celebrating the culture of the country.

The event was not only visually stimulating; it was also educational about Chinese culture, highlighting the country's four great inventions: paper-making and movable type printing (two things very important to this industry, not to mention publishing!), the compass, and gun powder. Each was celebrated with an over-the-top performance, some including thousands of people and elaborate props. The most interesting was the highlights of movable type printing, where the performers hid underneath rows of what looked like oversized keyboard keys, raising and dropping them in sequence to create a mesmerizing presentation.

Some questioned the purpose of showing three full hours of cultural and musical performances to introduce an event that's all about sports. But sit down and watch five minutes of it (if you managed to PVR it this morning!) and you'll be in awe of the grandeur; not to mention the obvious massive amount of preparation that went into the event.

So what does this have to do with technology? Two significant things will come out of this for our industry: for one, people will obviously be paying a lot more attention to their home theatres while the Olympics take place; and two, dealers may have just found themselves some great, new demo material!

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